Pull several desks into a circle. Each student gets out a blank sheet of paper and pencil. Then put their name on the back of their paper. Students start to write a story about what they’re given. The teacher will use a timer and at the end of a short period (around a minute or less) time is called. Papers are quickly passed to the right, time is restarted and students will continue the story started by the first student. Continue until the paper ends up with the original author. Students will read finished product aloud. Writing will be accompanied by a drawing/sketch.
*It was a chilly autumn afternoon in Terra Haute, Indiana…………
*It slithered as it moved and fluid oozed out of its body……………
*Time stood still as the crowd witnessed the miraculous……………
Set Up The Scene (Setting Development)
Utilize the picture to describe the scene. Click the link below............
* When is the action taking place?
* Where is the action taking place?
* What do you see? What does it look like?
* What do you hear? What does it sound like?
* What do you smell? What does it smell like?
* What did you taste? What does it taste like?
* What did you feel? How do you feel? How does it feel?
When you get an idea for a short story or a novel you probably get the basic idea of the characters with it. But in order to build believable characters you need more than just a basic idea of them. You need to really them. The easiest way to flesh out a character is with a character profile, so get out a blank sheet of paper and follow the sample profile below.
NAME: Put your characters full name – first, last, and any nicknames that he goes by. Make sure the name creates the right mental image of your character; a Bill causes a completely different image than a Byron.
BIOGRAPHY: Write a description of your character’s life; past and present. Where was he born, how was his family life – has his past affected him in any way? What does he do now? Who are his friends and where does he live? Don’t make it too long – a paragraph will do.
AGE: If you don’t know the exact age of your character then you can put it’s approximation, such as late thirties, mid-twenties etc.
HEIGHT: How tall is your character?
WEIGHT: You probably won’t know your character’s exact weight, but I’m sure you can guess its approximate one. Is he really light – or a little more weighty?
BODY TYPE: Is he wiry and agile, or does he work out and his body is the proof? Remember that thin and skinny can bring up to different images – and maybe he’s small-boned but sturdy
COMPLEXION: Is she ivory white or does she have more of a cream and coffee color?
EYES: Be specific about the color. Ice blue creates a different character than sky blue. And what is the look in the eyes – is it hard? Nervous? Or does it have a twinkle?
HAIR: Put not only the color, but also the style. Is it long and curly – short and spike – or maybe it’s died blue and shaved into a Mohawk. Again, make the color specific. Instead of brown hair, put red-brown, chestnut brown, or maybe it’s actually the color of dried mud
CLOTHING STYLE: What type of clothing does he usually wear? Is he preppy, or more relaxed? Maybe he’s a teenager that always wears sports jerseys.
SPEAKING STYLE: Is he short and to the point? Or is he long winded?
GENERAL DEMEANOR: This is how your character generally acts and comes across to other people. Some people are just generally easy-going, taking life as it comes…while others are uptight and always looking for a fight.
CAREER: What does she do for a living?
PREJUDICES: Everyone has some, even fictional characters. Does she hate slow drivers…or maybe he’s an intellectual and his prejudice is against anyone who hasn’t read all of Shakespeare’s works - plays and poems
BEST QUALITIES: List three or four of you characters best qualities
WORST QUALITIES: Even the “good guy” has a few faults. What are you character’s?
WEAKNESSES: What is the main weakness in your character’s make-up? What is his “Achilles heel”? Is it that he’s not real smart…or maybe he has trouble getting along with other people.
HOBBIES: When he’s not being thrashed about in your plot, what doe she like to do?
TALENTS: What is the character good at? (ex. Is he/she an expert artist? Or cook?)
Once you’ve filled out this profile for your own characters, you should know enough about them to be able to make them jump off the page.